Windows Support Update

Once again the latest tool has been a lesson in cross-platform compatibility. If you’re on windows and ml_controlLibrary was giving you errors when exporting controls, download the latest ml_utilities for the fix.

If you’re curious, something I wrote ages ago was splitting a environment path list by “:”, which is the character used to separate paths on linux and mac. On windows though, you can imagine what sort of havoc that wreaks on a path starting with “C:\”. Instead, use os.pathsep and you get the right separator depending on the operating system.

Thanks for the debugging help, my testers!

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I’m on GitHub

I’ve finally got my act together and created a repository on gitHub for all my tools. I still want them to be downloadable individually, but in order to stay up to date, cloning this repository might be a good option for some people or facilities.

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July Tool: Control Library

Rigging tool this month! This is a way to build and keep track of a control curve library. Simply create a nurbsCurve (or open that file you use to save all your control curves), select a curve and export it. An icon gets rendered and the curve is cleanly written out to your library, so you never have to go searching through your old rigs or or re-create it for the 5th time.

controlLibrary

Thanks again to all my Patrons for making this possible, and enjoy!

Download below (Please note you’ll need the latest ml_utilities update, and this also requires the ml_parentShape script in order to work.)

ControlLibrary
ControlLibrary
ml_controlLibrary.py
Version: 3
11.7 KiB
68 Downloads
Details
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June Tool: ml_pivot

It’s the end of the month, and thanks to my Patreon supporters that means a new tool. This months flavour comes by request, though it remains to be seen whether it works as they hoped. It was a bit of a science experiment, and there’s probably more features which could be added in the future, so I’m interested in hearing feedback from you about it.

So it’s a tool for changing the pivot of an animated transform in maya. The workflow is like this:

  1. Animate something.
  2. With it selected, run the tool and press “Edit Pivot”
  3. Your selection will change to a handle. Position the handle to where you want the pivot to be, and then press Return. If you deselect the handle or press Escape it will cancel.
  4. The scene will play through to bake, and afterward you should have the exact same animation but with a different pivot.

Disclaimer! Because everyone’s rigs are set up differently, in some cases changing the pivot position may break a rig. Before you try this on a new rig, please save your scene, and do let me know if you have found a bug that causes trouble. Also if you haven’t updated ml_utilities in a while, you may want to grab that too.

Give it a go:

Pivot
Pivot
ml_pivot.py
Version: 1
10.2 KiB
144 Downloads
Details
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Pixar Tentacles

Here’s my friend and mentor Jeremie Talbot talking about octopus rigging. Can’t wait to see this guy in action!

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New Tool: Graph Editor Mask

I’ve added a new tool at the end of last month, but have been slow to post about it. Graph Editor Mask is a way of quickly isolating or masking curves in the graph editor by channel, axis, or selection. So if you want to look at just ty for all the selected objects, or just rotates, or just the selected curves. It’s designed to work as hotkeys, if you can spare the keyboard real-estate.

GraphEditorMask
GraphEditorMask
ml_graphEditorMask.py
Version: 1
8.6 KiB
241 Downloads
Details

Also wanted to add that once I started using Maya 2016 I realized it broke my options to create hotkeys from within tools. I’ve updated ml_utilities with a dirty patch to just print to the command instead, and I’ll need to investigate the best way to get that fixed in the future.

As always, thanks for the support on Patreon to keep these tools coming!

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May Bonus Tool: Frame Graph Editor

This tool comes from a request, and was perfectly timed since even though I was happy to get the shelf out, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have a new tool to share.

The request came up in this old post about framing the graph editor, and that it could be better if it also framed vertically based on only the curves which are visible. So that’s what this script is about, showing you what you actually want to see when you frame the graph editor. For greatest satisfaction, replace your “f” hotkey with:

import ml_frameGraphEditor
ml_frameGraphEditor.main()
Frame GraphEditor
Frame GraphEditor
ml_frameGraphEditor.py
Version: 4
5.2 KiB
238 Downloads
Details

Enjoy!

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ml_worldBake Update

I’ve updated ml_worldBake to support weighted tangents, all you need is to download the latest ml_utilities script for it to work.

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Animation Tool Shelf

ml_shelf

This month’s tool is a bit of a punt (it’s been a crazy busy month), but something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s all the animation tools bundled as a shelf, with fancy icons! I don’t know why the icons have been slowly breaking on the download page, another bug for the list, but I figured they probably aren’t downloaded much anyway. This I figured might be a way for people to try out all the tools without having to download them all individually. Here you go, I promise next month’s tool will be a real tool.

Animation Shelf
Animation Shelf
ml_animationShelf.zip
Version: 2
146.1 KiB
283 Downloads
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Bye For Now, Weta

Yesterday was my last day at Weta for now, I’ve taken a new gig for a change of scenery on a project that I’m pretty excited about. More on that later.

P1170559

I was given a traditional leaving present from the animation department, this beautiful greenstone necklace. I’m grateful for my time at Weta and the friends I’ve made there, and I hope to be back some day.

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